Strategy launched for keeping New Zealanders healthier and safer at work

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 14, 2018

A new Health and Safety at Work Strategy commits New Zealand to better practices in the workplace for the next decade, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.

While the country had made significant progress in reducing work-related harm since the Pike River tragedy, Lees-Galloway says it is clear there is still work to be done.

“There are still 50 to 60 deaths from work injuries each year and 600 to 900 deaths from exposures to health risks associated with their work. This is unacceptably high and the pace of progress has stalled.

“New Zealand can be among the world-leaders for workplace health and safety if we can get our attitudes and practices right. The strategy will help us achieve this, by focusing on what makes the biggest impact in key areas that we must improve.”

Lees-Galloway says New Zealand needs to take a broader view of work-related health risks, including mental health, and to lift the outcomes for workers at greatest risk, including Maori, who are over represented in injury statistics.

“Our next step will be to turn the strategy‘s vision into action. I anticipate government agencies will align their health and safety-related work with the strategy. I also encourage sectors, businesses and communities to do the same.”

Lees-Galloway says he will establish a stakeholder reference group to provide advice on progress and help maintain long-term focus and momentum.

The final strategy can be found on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment‘s website together with the summary of submissions and factsheets by area of interest: www.mbie.govt.nz/health-and-safety-strategy

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